WHO’s Framework Convention On Tobacco Control Meeting Must Carefully Consider Action On E-Cigarettes

STAT: Could changes to a global tobacco treaty harm health?
Clive Bates, public heath commentator and former head of Action on Smoking and Health in the United Kingdom, and Sally Satel, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute

“…This week, India is hosting a major meeting focusing on the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), a landmark 2003 global treaty on tobacco control. The most controversial issue under discussion will be the treatment of electronic cigarettes. The debate could not be more polarized. … Faced with … dueling reports [on the potential risks and benefits of electronic cigarettes], what should delegates at the FCTC meeting actually do? … Regulations that make electronic cigarettes less accessible, less palatable, more expensive, less consumer friendly, and less satisfying, or that slow down innovation, will tilt the market back in favor of tobacco cigarettes. If that happens, the result will be more cancer, heart, and lung disease, and premature deaths. … [W]e urge [delegates] to carefully consider all the options, because lives are at stake. Making unwise and premature decisions about e-cigarettes could add to the burden of ill health instead of reducing it” (11/8).